Every year there is only a two-month window when Mount Everest is capable of being climbed. The rest of the year, the winds are so fierce and the temperature so low, that it is considered impossible to climb. It can cost a climber up to seventy thousand dollars to attempt to summit Mount Everest. Thousands of people have sold their cars, homes, and personal belongings for a shot at reaching the top. Gerard McDonnell was one of these people. He paid a huge price for his attempt to reach the summit. As he was scaling the mountain, his trip leader warned him to turn around because his hands and feet were severely frostbitten, but Gerard refused to listen. After hiking up the mountain further, Gerard realized he wasn’t going to summit the mountain without physically paying for it and alas turned around. Unfortunately, this decision was too late. He had frostbite so severely that every finger on one hand, the majority of fingers on the other hand, and half of one of his feet had to be amputated after his attempt.
The truth is, Jesus doesn’t really care if you climb to the top of the world or not. He isn’t into expeditions that try and tame the North Pole or conquer the jungle. He never said "If you really want your life to count, then climb the highest mountain or swim the across the coldest ocean." Jesus tells us that if we want our life to really count, stay really close to Him and he will produce spiritual fruit.
“5I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” John 15:5-6 NIV
The key to remaining in Christ is to obey his commands. And in order to be obedient, you need to let God prune your life. According to Jesus “Every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful” (John 15:2). I need the Holy Spirit to prune my life on a regular basis so that I can produce spiritual fruit such as love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
If you have no margin in your life, ask Jesus to help you prune your calendar. If you have someone in your life who is dragging you down and leading you away from Christ, ask Jesus to help prune them from your life. If you have distraction or addictions that keep your gaze away from the Cross, ask for pruning to take place. The cool thing is, when we let God prune our lives, our faith grows. I trust Jesus now, more than ever, because he cut things out of my life that I didn’t think I could let go of and now I can see how that pruning produced spiritual fruit.
Jesus says: “16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” John 15:16
Bearing fruit is the result of staying connected to Jesus, the Vine. You might not ever be the CEO, President of the United States, a famous musician, or climb mount Everest, but I promise, if you let God do a little pruning, and if you remain in Jesus, then the Holy Spirit will produce fruit in your life. This pruning will inevitably spread the Gospel and last into eternity.